on Oct 05, 21

Gift at your own risk: The top 5 gifts that are commonly regifted (or binned!)

It seems that gift-giving grows ever more complicated. Perhaps people are becoming pickier. Or perhaps as a society we’ve grown into more conscious consumers. 

To help you avoid seeing the gifts you’ve bought ending up on Trade Me, or back under next year's Christmas tree, we’ve complied our top 5 list of gifts that are regifted. 

The importance of getting it right

We can only guess at the number of gifts that get binned or re-gifted each year. But thanks to sites like Trade Me, we know the hard numbers with on-selling. And they’re massive.

Some 5,000 unwanted Christmas presents ended up on Trade Me last year. 

When it comes to choosing a gift, you want to pick one that will make the recipient’s face grin wider than the Cheshire cat’s.

But a poorly planned gift – even when well intentioned – can have the opposite effect. 

When you see your recipient look less than enthused when the wrapping paper falls, (flashing you something more akin to a grimace than a smile), it can leave you grimacing too. 

You’re left asking yourself: Am I a bad gift-giver? Or worse still, am I a bad sister/friend/employer/other because I read the room so poorly?

Well, now’s the chance to put these questions to bed. It’s time to say goodbye to unwanted gifts, once and for all. 

1. Health and beauty products

This is, hands down, the most regifted category of items.

Soaps, bath salts, moisturisers – these are all common go-to gifts. If you’re the gift-giver, they present an easy choice because you don’t need to know an awful lot about your giftee. But there are three big reasons why these gifts flop. 

Firstly, for eco-conscious giftees, the plastic packaging for these gifts is an eco-nightmare.

Secondly, people are usually loyal to their tried and tested products and aren’t quick to switch.

And thirdly, a good-intentioned gift of perfume or deodorant can offend some people with an unintentional stinky message.

So avoid scented offences and foundation faux pas – and avoid cosmetic giftings.

2. Candles

After cosmetics, candles are the next most popular re-gifted item. 

Similar to cosmetics, they can be underwhelming because they aren’t hugely personalised to the recipient’s hobbies or interests. (Unless your giftee is an aroma therapist… or needs to light a castle in Transylvania).

In fact, many people already have candles lying around in their drawers and don’t need another.

And as for scented candles, some scents are hard to handle, presenting an olfactory offence to the receiver. So unless you know the recipient’s favourite scent and candle brand, it’s best to give them a miss.

3. Clothing

It always warms the heart seeing your loved one unboxing that super cute red sweater you chose them, then watching them put it on straight away… 

But then you never see them wearing it again.

We love giving clothes, but styles are personal. What you love might not be the case for your friends and family. And getting the wrong clothing size can lead to the clothing being impractically small, or insultingly large.

So if you never see that red sweater again, chances are it isn’t in the back of your giftee’s wardrobe… And is instead hanging on a rack at St Vinnies. 

4. Electronics

According to Trade Me, last year a parent on-sold a pair of Apple Airpods Pro because their daughter preferred standard Airpods.

That might be surprising to hear, but some people are eager to immediately trade in their gift for the exact model they’re after.

And it’s common knowledge that brands like Apple release new products every hot minute. So old models are constantly binned without a second thought. 

Avoid contributing to the rapidly growing e-waste problem, and steer clear of electronic gifts. 

5. Houseware

Everyone has their own unique tastes. What they want in their home – their sanctuary – can be very specific. 

And if you don’t take full stock of the recipient’s household items, you might be gifting them a very unnecessary second fruit juicer. Or contributing to their already overflowing drawer of tea towels. 

As a rule of thumb, if you don’t know they need or want it, err on the side of caution. 

The key takeaways

The most regifted items have a lot in common:

  • They aren’t personalised to the recipient’s tastes
  • They’re overly generic and show little thought
  • They have no sentimental value

Essentially, they are easy to pass on to a new (soon to be disappointed) giftee because they’re so generic.

Which leads to…

Gifts that aren’t regifted

Unsurprisingly, gifts that people keep are the opposite to the types of gifts listed above.

They reveal that you know your giftee’s interests and passions. And show you’ve put time and thought into making, baking or buying something for them. 

The Good Registry’s gift cards were developed with the giftee in mind. No matter what your recipient’s interests or passions, a Good Registry gift card lets them choose which causes they’d like to support. 

They can re-gift to others - literally hundreds of others. Intentionally.

Better yet, our cards are digital, so you can celebrate with no-waste and no grievances.

For more information on how to give a Good Gift click here. 


- By Tori McLennon and the Good content creators at Refresh Marketing

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